Architects join the fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 around the world has had a dramatic impact on all of our lives and it has had significant ramifications for the construction industry too. One of the most inspiring effects has been the way that so many people are now using their professional skills for completely new purposes. Many architectural studios are among those who are working hard to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

How Architects are helping beat COVID-19

Architecture wouldn’t necessarily be the first profession you would think of when tackling a pandemic, but many studios have found that they have the skills and design tools that are needed right now. As one of the most creative and innovative industries in the UK, architecture has a lot to offer in a time of crisis.

Hardware such as 3D printers that might otherwise be sitting idle during lockdown are also in great demand for creating the equipment that the NHS so urgently needs.  So many people around the country have been taking on new challenges and tackling projects that are far beyond their usual line of work.

Quattro COVID-19 PPE
Quattro Design has already provided 300 face shields to Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Even after providing the model based design software that enables architects to share their visions for 25 years, Applecore Designs are never fail to be amazed by the talent and ingenuity of our clients. We wanted to highlight some of the ways that architects around the UK have been supporting key workers and contributing to the efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Creating PPE for the NHS

One of the biggest difficulties faced by the NHS over the last weeks has been in obtaining the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep nurses, doctors, and others safe. ARCHICAD users Quattro Design Architects are among those who have responded to the urgent call for more PPE.

Fantastic to see their first batch of face shields go out to @GlosHealthNHS enough for 300 uses. Really proud of the team’s efforts and much more importantly, delighted to get the protective equipment out to the amazing NHS staff who need it.

The 3D printer that usually produces their architectural models from ARCHICAD produced .stl files are now helping to create face shields for NHS frontline staff. The 3D printed headbands are simple to produce, but once sterilised and fitted with acetate visors, they can save lives. Quattro Design has already provided 300 face shields to Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Scrub templates to beat COVID-19

Medical scrubs are another essential requirement for the NHS. Doctors and nurses need to have comfortable, clean scrubs to wear day after day as they fight against COVID-19. With the NHS working harder than ever, there is even greater demand for scrubs than usual. Many volunteers around the UK have been helping to supply the NHS by hand sewing scrubs.

Another ARCHICAD studio that has been contributing to these efforts are BRP architects, who have been printing the templates required to sew scrubs using large format printing that usually output their architectural designs. The first sets of scrubs produced from these templates are already on their way to the medical workers who need them.

BRP COVID-19 Scrubs
BRP architects have been printing the templates required to sew scrubs

Building the Nightingale Hospitals

Although many architects have been using their skills and equipment in completely new ways to support the COVID-19 response, there are also many in the construction industry who have been contributing in more conventional ways. Many people were sceptical that the UK could match the ability of China to build a new hospital in response to COVID-19, but the creation of the Nightingale Hospitals across the country has shown just how much can be achieved in a short space of time.

All those who have played a role in creating these hospitals or producing PPE, scrubs and other essential pieces of equipment have played a vital part in supporting the NHS and tackling COVID-19.

The first Nightingale Hospital was officially opened on 3 April 2020, just 11 days after the plan to create a field hospital in ExCel London was announced. Converting an exhibition centre into a field hospital was a huge challenge, especially on such a tight time scale. BDP took on this task have since helped to create another Nightingale Hospital in Manchester, as well as releasing an IKEA-style manual to share their expertise with others creating field hospitals in the UK and worldwide.